基督教思想史第一部 – 第三章:中世紀神學源流

要了解中世紀的神學﹐千萬不要抱有中世紀是黑暗世紀偏見﹐套用現代人的眼光去檢視中世紀的思想。中世紀的神學只一個中心思想﹐就是教會擁有超越世界的聖神真實性﹐在神聖的社會中領導文化和科學的思想﹐只要記著這一點就可以理解中世紀的所有神學觀念。中世紀的神學想思主要分為三大主流﹕學術主義(scholasticism)﹐神秘主義(mysticism)和聖經主義(biblicism)。這三者在中世紀時並不互相抵觸﹐只不過是解決信仰上的問題時﹐採用不同重點的進路。學術主義架構神學理論﹐神秘主義強調個人靈性的經驗﹐而聖經主義則為前兩者背書。

中世紀的神學思潮的歷史﹐ 是兩大神學理論不斷的重覆爭議﹐正反雙方透過辯証法﹐不停更新發掘新的神學知識。一邊陣營是聖奧古斯丁傳統﹐另一邊陣營則是聖湯馬士的傳統。其實這兩個傳統分別源於柏拉圖和亞里士多德對世界觀的說法﹐影響到神學中應該如何理解神的看法﹐可以說是古希臘哲學爭論的申延。中世紀的兩大修會Francisancs與Dominican﹐分別代表這兩個不同的神學傳統。

在中世紀並沒有現代的世俗或宗教之分﹐教會與國家和文化有著不可分割的關係﹐教會的架構代表聖神在世界真實的存在。當教會充當世俗的行政機關的功用時﹐教會不免在同時間會被世俗化。對內在教會產生修會抗拒世俗化﹐僧侶在修院中鑽研神學﹐藝術和科學﹐堅持純正神聖的教會精神。對外教會產生騎士和十字軍﹐統一歐洲大陸的異教徒﹐和反攻被回教徒控制的聖地。教會在世俗事務上擁有的權力﹐引發教會與封建國家君主衝突。教會內的地方主教也對權力集中在羅馬教庭感到不滿﹐認為應該像早期教會般實行主教公會制﹐教會的最終決策權由主教們集體決定 ﹐而非落在教宗一個人身上。最後在地方教會和國王聯手﹐發動宗教革命結束教庭的權力架構。

在早期教父與宗教改革時期相比﹐中世紀的神學家顯得黔然失色。中世紀沒有缺乏創新獨到的新神學觀念﹐神學家的工作是在現有神學基礎上﹐深化整理融合希臘哲學和基督教﹐徘徊在柏拉圖與亞里士多德之間。以下是幾位比輕出名的神學家。

Anselm of Canterbury的最大供獻是嘗試提出神存在的論証﹐這些論點今天在知識水平低的教徒間十分流行﹐不過在哲學入門中卻成為經典的反面教材。當然我們不要看少Anselm﹐這些論點以中世紀的水平來說﹐其實還是蠻進步的學術思想。

Abelard de Paris的神學嘗試用理性去解神秘主義。另外他研究何謂善惡的道德理論﹐他認為善惡不是由行為的結果決定﹐而是取決於人內心的動機﹐因些罪就是幹違背良心的事性。

Bernard of Clairvaux則剛剛相反﹐他是一名神秘主義者﹐認為信仰是源於經驗﹐經驗源於聖靈。

Joachim of Floris發展出一套有別於奧丁斯古的歷史哲學﹐他提出三個不同的千禧年期﹐第一個時期是舊約的律法時期﹐第二個時期是現在的教會時期﹐在最後一個修道時期中﹐全人類將歸依天主﹐不再需要教會的引導。

在十三世紀﹐歐洲的基督教文明接觸中東的回教文明﹐從新認識失落了的亞里士多德哲學。正如奧丁斯古給柏拉圖洗禮﹐用柏拉圖的哲學去解釋基督教的信仰﹐Thomas Aquinas則是為亞里士多德施洗。奧丁斯古認為人類知識是從神而來﹐神賜與人類內心的理性﹐人類從理性產生知識。Thomas的說法則是剛剛相反﹐萬物皆從神而來﹐但人類的知識源於對萬物的觀察﹐人類透過知識來更加認識神。他的另一個供獻與Anselm差不多﹐提出五個推論嘗試証明神存在。當然以今天的角度來看﹐結果也與Anselm差不多﹐成為哲學入明的反面教材。不過他的推論與Anselm的推論截然不同﹐一個是以柏拉圖為基礎的本體論﹐另一個則是以亞里士多德為基礎的因果論。除了神學外﹐Thomas在哲學中道德和美學的課題中﹐他的理論對後世也有深遠的影響。

William of Ockham最著名是他那把剃刀﹐認為推論的解釋越精簡越準確﹐沒有必要把簡單事情複雜化。William的原意是推論教會的信仰權威﹐卻想不到後世用他的剃刀把神從現實推論中剃掉。

Meister Eckhart是德國神秘主義的代表人物﹐將Thomas神學理論轉化為實踐經驗。

宗教改革在中世紀末期己開始醞釀﹐英國的John Wyclif已在發展改革神學的雛形﹐差不多包括所有改革神學﹐除了馬丁路德提出人與神的新關係﹐不需要再通過教會。雖然Wyclif大力批評教會傳統﹐中世紀教會其實對神學討論很開放﹐他提出的說法並未被定為異端受到迫害﹐只是眾多不同神學理論間的學術爭議。

看罷中世紀神學思想的歷史﹐我認同田立克在第三章開頭的說法﹐中世紀並非完全黑暗墮落﹐知識發展完全停滯不前。經歷羅馬帝國的興衰﹐歷史在這時期相對上比較平靜。雖然中世紀只有Thomas Aquinas一個著名哲學家﹐但在修院內有很大的學術自由空間。在眾多無名神學哲學家的著作中﹐我們可以找到後來啟蒙哲學巨頭的想思縮影﹐或未經雕琢整合的零碎思考片斷。

Ex in Wedding

Today I went to a friend’s wedding.  The wedding follows the typical PMC style, ceremony in CMCC, banquet in Kirin.  Somehow almost everyone working in PMC have their banquet in Kirin, including myself.  Just like every other wedding, I bump into some long time no see friends.  One of an old friend I come across is the ex of the bride.  I am quite surprise seeing him show up in the wedding.  He flew all the way from HK just to attend the wedding.  I know him from connection through my Waterloo friends, so I am kinda neutral on whom the bride pick as the groom.

Somehow the best man has the same first name as my friend, and both of them flew from HK for the wedding.  When the groom read his thank you list, we who know the history but not aware the name of best man, almost dropped our jaws, wondering why would the groom want to thank the ex of the bride.  Of course, it turns out it is just a misunderstanding.

Chinese wedding has silly games.  One of the game is the bride has to find the groom among the guests.  The MC prepared masks with picture of the groom’s head, asking one guy from each table wearing the masks, trying to confuse the bride.  At first, we want to make the ex wears the mask, but he refuse indistinctly.  He said it would be really embarrass if the bride pick him by mistake.  I think the real reason is no guy want to pretend to be the guy marrying your girlfriend.

In Chinese wedding, the guests toast with the wedding couple and force them to drink some alcohol.  The wedding couple are very easy going, don’t mind having a toast with any guests come forward to congratulate them.  Any guest, except the ex.  Somehow the groomsman refuse the toast from the ex and he is quite upset.  At the end of the banquet, he manage to have a toast and take a photo with the bride quietly, while the groom is away busy doing something else.  Probably the bride want to stay away from the ex in front of her husband.  But if she cares, why invite him in the first place?

Why the bride would invite her ex to the wedding and why would the ex come?  I can never understand how a couple break up and still be friends without feeling weird.  Maybe they just pretend to be normal.  I don’t think invite your ex to your wedding or going to your ex’s wedding is a good idea.  Why take the chance to be humiliated or reminds yourself once again the bad memories.

Women are better shooter

Most people think shooting is a men’s sport, as women don’t usually associate with guns. Today I just learn that women are better natural shooter than men, since women can shoot more accurately. In my shooting club, the best shooter is a woman and some experience shooters said they have a hard time completing with women.

The difference is not due to skill nor training, it is due to the body structure of the two genders. Women has a low center of mass, while men has a high center of mass. When aiming a target, higher center of mass makes the body less stable. Having the body stable is the most important key factor determine where the bullets will hit. Since women has a natural advantage in shooting, we should correct the stereotype that shooting is men’s sport. Shooting is a sport suits well balanced for both sex. Where women have more stable hands, men have faster reaction time.

請給與緬甸人民推翻暴政的力量

今天新聞看見緬甸軍方開槍鎮壓首都仰光的示威﹐令我聯想起六月某天在北京發生的某件事情。緬甸的軍方政府推翻民選政府﹐實行極權統治多年﹐早把國家弄得民不聊生。僧侶發動和平示威爭取民主﹐學生和人民響應上街遊行﹐本來是個很好的改革契機。軍方政府貪戀權力為保政權﹐寧可甘冒被世界各國遣責﹐也要對手無寸鐵的人民開槍鎮壓。世界各國也基於人道理由﹐發出遣責緬甸軍方暴行的聲明﹐可是只是遺責聲明有用嗎﹖

跟據聯合國以往的慣例﹐ 遣責接下來的行動就是經濟制裁。可是跟據以往的經驗﹐經濟制裁基本上沒有用﹐反而國家經濟蕭條﹐最終受苦的是緬甸人民。獨裁者才不會因為人民受苦而自動放棄政權﹐看看古巴﹐北韓﹐利比克等專制國家﹐給聯合國制裁了幾十年﹐獨裁者還是好端端地享受富貴特權。經濟制裁並不會影響獨專者的生活質素﹐反正有走私販子提供所需的奢移品。沒有與外國通商貿易﹐國民接觸外國思想的機會少﹐更加易於實行專制統治。遺責沒有用﹐制裁沒有用﹐還有沒有其他辨法呢﹖

辨法也不是全完沒有﹐聯合國可以派維和部隊進駐﹐推翻軍方政權成立民主政府。先不論這方案負上干預別國內政的罪名﹐這個方案也並非萬試萬靈的妙方。雖然維和部隊在南斯拉夫和岡果有點成績﹐但緬甸軍方並非泛泛之輩﹐有一定程度的軍力實力﹐聯合國的軍隊可能會陷入苦戰。看看美國在伊拉克泥足深陷的反面教材﹐就算成功打敗獨裁者﹐國家局勢還是十分動蕩﹐距離民主和平政府還有很遠的路。現實中干預別國內政的爭論﹐只是地緣政治權力鬥爭的潛台詞﹐決定如何分配外國對新政權的影響力。可是在理論的層面上﹐干預別國的內政涉及國家主權與普世價值的悖論。基於人道理由﹐我們不能無視專制政府屠殺人民。可是揮軍進佔別國﹐以武力阻止屠殺﹐又會變成了帝國主義。我雖然支持殖民主義﹐認為文明國家有啟蒙開發落後國家的責任﹐也不會輕率地支持出兵。若果出兵對文明國家沒有利益﹐總不能叫文明國家的國民﹐白白去落後國家送死吧。有利益會被指動機不純正﹐沒有利益而出兵又不划算﹐如果有足夠的軍事力量和國民支持度﹐出兵他國推翻暴政在理論上可行。可是基於現實上限制的考慮﹐出兵也不是可行的解決辨法。

制裁沒有用出兵又不切實際﹐那麼我們是否只能眼白白看著專制政權欺壓人民﹐什麼事也不能幹呢﹖一個國家的命運﹐應該由那個國家的人民決定﹐旁人不能亦難以代勞。若果人民不夠忍受專制政府的統治﹐人民有權發動革命去推翻獨裁政權。手無寸鐵的平民沒有能力反抗迫壓﹐我們應該做的事情是緬甸人民一個機會﹐讓他們可以主宰自己的將來。既然人民和平示威完全沒有效用﹐兼會被暴政屠殺﹐武裝起義是迫不得爾的最後選擇。我們不能夠代替緬甸人民去打仗﹐我們只能提供資金和武器﹐讓他們有能力自己作出決定。他們可以選擇在專制統治下苟且偷生﹐他們亦可以選擇冒生命危險英勇地反抗暴政。若果每個緬甸人民也擁有槍械﹐軍隊不敢輕易地開槍屠殺人民﹐人民就有力量站起來推翻軍政府。只有人民和政府的權力得到平衝﹐才不會產生殘暴的獨裁政權﹐人民擁有槍械是自由的基石﹐所以請支持槍械合法化。

Mid Autumn Festival

Today is the mid autumn festival.  In Chinese tradition, people suppose to look up the sky tonight and adore the roundness of the moon.  To me, today is just a normal work day and then have some church function in the evening.  I am not even aware it is the day of mid-autumn festival until Pat gave me a moon cake.  I didn’t bother to raise my head and check out the moon, since the shape of the moon is none of my concern.

A traditional festival loses its meaning if it doesn’t come with a holiday.  When the meaning is hollowed out, people will move on and slowly forget the festival.  The festival may has some symbolic in the past, but in the this post-modern world anyone can associate any meaning to any symbol or associate any symbol to any day.  Mid-autumn symbolizes thinking about far way family members in the past.  Now you can simply call them up to say hello at any time.  You can make any day carry the same meaning of the  mid-autumn festival.  The traditional festival has lost its meaning, what’s left in a festival is just an excuse to give us a day off to enjoy ourself.

How to buy a gun

This is a speech prepared for the Toastmaster humorous speech contest.

A woman walked into a gun shop and said to the shop keeper, “I would like to buy a gun for my husband.” The woman said she don’t know much about guns and ask for some advice. The shop keeper then asked her, “What type of guns your husband likes?” The woman said, “Are you kidding? He doesn’t even know I am going to shoot him!”

Mr. Chair, fellow Toastmasters, when you walk into a gun shop, you don’t to be as clueless as the woman in the story. Today I am going to give you some tips on how to buy a gun.

First you decide what type of guns you want to buy by asking yourself what targets are you going to shoot? Paper target, sports clay, wild games or your mother in law. You need to buy the right gun for the right target. Rifles for far away target, handguns for close combat, and shotguns for anything that flies.

Buying guns is like buying shoes, you have to try it out to find the one that fits you. You may have to try out many guns before finding one that is comfortable to use. Pick up the gun, pretend you are Bruce Willis in Die Hard, imagine you are fighting a group of terrorist. You want to make sure your gun feels like an natural extension of your hand at all time.

The next tips is specially for the ladies or any fashionable gentlemen. Guns come in different colors, such as black polyester, dark blue steel finish, shiny silver nickel finish, fine-wood walnut finish, marine camouflage in different shades of green. You may want to pick a gun that matches your dressing style. When you are holding a gun, how cool you look is as important as how good you shoot.

Last time when I went to the gun shop, I overheard a conversation between two hunters. The first hunter asked the second one, “Why do you hunt without bullets?” The second hunter replied, “It is much cheaper and the result are the same.” I am sure my fellow Toastmasters are much better shooters than the second hunter, so you may want to buy some bullets. Buying bullets require some delicate knowledge, you have to know how to read numbers. All you have to do is read the caliber marking on the gun and find the bullets that match the number.

A single bullet is not expensive, but if you plan to do lots of shooting, the ammunition bill may add up quite high.  Do you know that you can get bullets in every day low price at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart carries a huge selection of bullets. If you buy in bulk, you may even get volume discount.

Let me ask you a question. What will you do if you catch you teenager son buying dirty magazines? I will tell him buying dirty magazines is wrong, because it may jam your gun. In a gun shop, a magazine is not something for you to read, it is something that holds extra bullets. It is always wise to have a few spare magazine with you. You don’t want to find yourself run out of ammo in the middle of a shooting.

Now you have buy your gun, some bullets and a few magazine. You are ready to shoot. But wait a second, let me tell you a real story of how not to use a gun. In 1990, a Seattle man named David Zaback got a gun from the black market. He decided to turn make some quick bucks. He walked in to shop, pointed his gun at the shop keeper and ask for money. However, he made a big mistake, he picked to the wrong shop. He was trying to rob a gun store! He was shot dead right on the spot by the shop keeper and other customers. Remember, don’t do stupid things with your gun. Happy Shooting.

Murder Princess 虐殺姬

Murder Princess 我一向對長劍少女沒有免疫力﹐見了這套「虐殺姬」的預告片便已經想看。這套動畫是六集的OVA短篇﹐由曾繪製Noir和Madlax的Bee Train工作室製作﹐作畫水準有一定的信心保證。雖然這動畫是漫畫改篇﹐但故事性不強的例牌劇情﹐主要賣點還是凌厲的打鬥場面﹐以及主角那身超萌的染血白色禮服的公主造形。

故事開始於某一個小國發生政變﹐艾利塔公主從城堡逃出來﹐身旁的護衛給敵人一個個幹掉。走投無路之際﹐在樹林中遇上最強賞金獵人法莉絲﹐機綠巧合下兩人的身體互相對調。艾利塔請求法莉絲保護她的國家﹐並承諾把國家的王位讓給她﹐於是史上最強的虐殺公主自此誕生。行動粗魯的賞金獵人化身為高貴的公主﹐想必會發生不少笑話。不過這動畫主要還是著重動作打鬥﹐所以只在第三話青蜓點水的加插點笑料作點綴。故事中敵人一個緊接一個出現﹐虐殺公主拿著劍砍殺的時間﹐比在宮庭中要舉止優雅的時間還多。

這動畫的女主角虐殺公主形象鮮明耀眼﹐相比之下劇中其他角色就黯然失色。艾利塔留在公主的身邊作女僕﹐算是搭單多送一個萌系女角﹐除此之外這位第二女主角的角色其實可有可無。法莉絲還有兩名科學怪人手下﹐他們的唯一作用就是打雜魚﹐讓觀眾悄作中場休息﹐鬆馳一下再欣賞公主的戰鬥。六集動畫總共出現五個敵人﹐平均每集公主打敗一人。那些敵人勉強也算是同伙﹐背後藏有個穿鑿附會毀滅世界的大陰謀。觀眾可以無視故事的合理性﹐公主在上一個鏡頭給打到噴血倒地﹐下一個鏡頭卻凌空跳躍使出絕招解決對手﹐事後除了衣服上的點點班班的血蹟﹐生龍活虎好像沒有受傷一樣。觀眾亦可以不用理會敵人的真正身份﹐虐殺公主武功高強的身世秘密。編劇根本沒有打算詳細交代﹐只在最後一集花幾分鐘時間隨口亂說解釋﹐若要深究的話會自相反駁產生更多疑問。只要記著虐殺公主是好人﹐敵人是要毀滅世界的壞人﹐餘下來便可以靜心欣賞打不死公主的連場激鬥。

「虐殺姬」沒有曲折離奇的劇情﹐也沒有感動落淚的愛情故事﹐只有一場緊接一場的精彩打鬥。適合只講求純視覺觀感刺激的觀眾﹐喜歡其他動畫元素的觀眾﹐千萬不要有錯誤的期望。

The Road to Serfdom 自由到路役之路 – Freidrich A. Hayek

road to serfdom 據說在蘋果日報報社的大堂有三尊銅像﹐代表著香港一直以來賴以成功的自由經濟體系﹐背後的三個位著名經濟學家。第一位是香港六十年代的財政司郭伯偉(John J. Cowperthwaite)﹐任內政府推行經濟積極不干預政策。第二位是去年去世的經濟大師佛利民(Milton Friedman),建立自由市場的經濟理論反對政府干預。第三位則是政治哲學家海耶克(Freidich A. Hayek)﹐為反對社會主義和集體主義寫下理論基礎。

「自由到路役之路」 是海耶克最重要的著作﹐書中詳細推論社會主義最終必然會變成極權統治。此書出版於二次大戰未期﹐當時凱恩斯主義(Keynes)當道﹐鼓吹由大政府主導的計劃經濟﹐工會勢力以保障工人之名抬頭﹐陰影籠罩著西方的自由經濟傳統。此書最初出版時不受到重視﹐反對聲音甚至打擊海耶克﹐認為他的理論危言聳聽﹐不適合主導經濟發展的政策。後來歐蘇聯共產實驗的失敗﹐六七十年代西方在左翼思潮影響下經濟一蹶不振﹐正好反證了到海耶克理論的先知先覺。海耶克在1974年獲得諾貝爾經濟獎﹐八十年代英美列根和戴卓爾政府下﹐古典自由主義從新抬頭﹐經濟急速發展﹐再一次肯定了海耶克理論的正確性。海耶克反對集體主義的計劃經濟﹐因為我們的自由會慢慢流失﹐最終我們會淪為專制政府統治的奴隸。

海耶克並不反對有關經濟的計劃﹐只要計劃的目的是促進競爭﹐而非由政府主導市場﹐選擇推行單一發展模式。支持計劃經濟的人﹐認為政府可以制定一套最完善的發展策略﹐只要跟從就能夠建設社會。可是不同人對社會有不同的期望﹐沒有一個經濟計劃可以迎合所有人的需要。政府要推行計劃經濟﹐就必需惘顧社會上一部份人的意願。民主程序並不能解決問題﹐絕大多數人意見分歧像一盤散沙的情況下﹐只要少數人達成統一意見﹐就可以凌駕並騎劫多數人的意願。而最容易達成統一意見的﹐偏偏卻是不會獨立思考的人群﹐他們把權力給與說話動聽的領袖﹐希望他運用絕對權力﹐去掃除推行計劃經濟的障礙。領袖在擁有絕對的權力後﹐在推行經濟計劃的大前題下﹐動用宣傳機器打擊反對聲音﹐因為經濟計劃要成功就不能受到質疑。當領袖完全操制與人民生活息息相關的經濟﹐人民喪失自由再沒有能力反抗時﹐踏上給專制政權奴役之路。

海耶克指出在社會主義中﹐自由一詞的意義被扭曲使用﹐誤導人民去支持計劃經濟。自由原本的意思是指政治上的自由﹐有不受到安全威脅的自由﹐不受到他人權力隨意操控的自由。在社會主義中﹐自由的意義變為經濟上的自由﹐成為不用擔心生活所需而限制選擇的自由。在這個意義中﹐自由只不過是財富的代名詞﹐社會主義的自由就只是財富的重新分配。海耶克並不反對基本的社會保障制度﹐在現代會中不應有人挨餓﹐衣不蔽體或露宿街頭。可是海耶克反對是在滿足基本生活需要後﹐還要追求人民在財富上也要相對地均等。政府不能只保障一部份人(如工會工人)有比較好的生活質素﹐因為社會的財富不是無限﹐若果保障他們所分配到的財富﹐則必然會損害其他沒有保障的人的利益。若果政府要保障所有人分配到的財富﹐政府就要分配每一個人的工作岡位﹐等同於要全面推行計劃經濟。人民喪失選擇工作的自由﹐生活各方面也要依懶政府﹐受到經濟政策決策者的支配。於是我們不單沒有獲得到經濟自由﹐反而連我們的政治自由也賠上去。

這本書中的政治推論深入詳細一環緊扣一環﹐對於初接觸這些政治述語的人來說比較艱深。我把這書前後看了兩遍﹐加上網上簡易精讀版的幫助﹐才勉強認識海耶克的理論。這本書挑戰我們反思一些習以為常的政治慨念﹐追溯自由﹐民主﹐計劃﹐競爭﹐權力﹐法治這些詞語背後的意義﹐讓我們對社會主義的浪漫幻想有所警 惕。 在網絡上我遇到不少左翼的社運份子﹐他們高舉社會主義的自由旗織﹐一廂情願地要求政府干預市場﹐好改善他們關心社群的生活。可是他們缺乏扎實的理論基礎﹐只能看到事情的表面﹐並不意識到的他們訴求﹐正正是踏著海耶克的通住奴役之路。

Practice attitude

We have a foosball table in the game room at work.  We have a group foosball friends usually go to the game room after lunch to have some fun.  Some of us had played foosball in school, have really good skills, while the others play foosball the first time here at work.  We have been playing foosballalmost  daily over a year, practice really improves our skill.  I started as a novice player, but now I can pretty much rule the table playing against an average player.

We play foosball just to relax between work, most of us play casually to have fun.  Somehow one of my friends takes foosball quite serious.  Foosball suppose is not an vigorous game, you just have to stand next the to table doing nothing other than rotating your wrists, but this guy manage to sweat like playing a basketball game and totally exhausted after playing foosball.  I think most of us play the same amount of games.  Because this guy play really seriously every day, his skill improve much faster than us.  He started as a novice, now he is probably the best player in the group.

The more you practice the better you become, but the attitude of how you practice can make a big difference.  If you want to be good at something, not only that you have to do it a lot, you have to do it seriously.